Friday, July 7, 2017
“Giving thanks fills you with light and joy so you can shine like the bright star you truly are.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree
Yesterday was a simply beautiful day in so many, many ways we couldn’t count them. John had found a frozen turkey in Mwanza (only our third or fourth in twelve years), so we decided to have Thanksgiving in July since most of our family was here. There were rays of sunshine popping into view all over the place. John cooked the twenty-pound bird like a gourmet chef would, and it was delicious. Neema (the woman who cooks for our orphans and students every day) went all out decorating our assembly hall with flowers and tablecloths so our meal would be a very special one (see picture at right). Just having family here was special, but to add a Thanksgiving meal with all our workers chipping in to make it wonderful made our hearts overflow. Then, we had an audio and video hangout with our youngest son, Keith, back in the United States, so he could say grace for our meal and chat with all of us, as well as getting his children (our grandchildren) in on the act just made it that much better.
You’d think that all of that would be blessing enough, but no. My sister went to town and bought a soccer ball to give to the kids who were playing soccer near us with a wadded-up ball made of old plastic bags. Their smiles lit up the sky. In addition, Chris bought some bicycles for he and Brenda to ride while they are here and will then give them to one of our churches—how special is that? Of course, while the turkey was cooking, John decided we needed to be hearing the sounds of American football, so he loaded a football video game in the machine and set me up to play so the background sounds would be a reminder of so many of our Thanksgivings in the past. After dinner, my oldest, Chris set up a steering wheel and pedals so that he and I could drive Formula One cars on a video game and the fun just went on and on.
It was one of those days filled with good food, great smells and sounds, and wonderful family feelings all around. It was a very special day that I will never forget as it is etched on my heart. To make us feel even better, we found out that Chris, Brenda, and Penny are planning a repeat of this visit in two years, so we have more good feelings to anticipate. The cherry on top was the turkey sandwiches we had for dinner last night. We thought of and talked about the parents and siblings who were missing and reminisced about lots of good times past. Even the post-turkey naps felt especially refreshing. It was one of those good days that hold our lives as families together and keep us close. We were all truly thankful indeed. God is good. All the time.